What Are Medical Air Mattresses Used For?

What Are Medical Air Mattresses Used For?

Primarily a medical air mattress is designed to protect the skin of the user. They can be used in hospitals or at home and will be of great assistance in the treatment and prevention of ulcers that are caused by pressure.

If a person is going to be confined to their bed for a long period of time then an air mattress for bed sores can be a real comfort to them. It will stimulate the circulation and will help to keep the skin dry and cool.

With an alternating air medical mattress you can be sure that one area does not receive weight bearing pressure that is too much for the user.

Alternating pressure therapy stimulates blood flow to the skin by redistributing pressure. The therapy is measured in cycle times and more blood flow to the skin will occur if the time between cycles is reduced. The increased blood flow helps to heal bed sores as it relives painful points of pressure.

Any medical mattress powered by air should provide a greater level of comfort and increase the circulation of the person using it than a conventional bed will. They should also prevent (and treat if necessary) any serious skin ailments such as skin shearing and pressure sores if a person has to endure a lengthy period of bed rest.

Most medical air mattresses have covers that are specially designed so that friction is reduced and are water resistant to prevent skin maceration.

Which Is The Best Medical Mattress For You?

There are many different kinds of medical air mattresses available and they all provide different benefits. You need to consider a number of different issues before making a final purchase decision.

The Size Of The Mattress

You need to consider the size of the person that you are buying the mattress for. If you are buying on behalf of a hospital you will find that most medical mattresses are designed for the bed frames that are used in hospitals.

A standard mattress is usually around 75 inches long and 32 inches wide and larger mattresses are available in the region of 80 inches long by 42 inches wide.

Turning Of Patients / Users

You will find that a number of medical mattresses have special features that will enable the turning of a user using air cylinders or chambers to provide a lateral turn. This is a very useful feature as it helps to prevent any bedsores by alleviating the pressure from any delicate skin.

Protecting The Skin

Skin health is very important and many medical mattresses have features that prevent (or treat) skin problems. Some mattresses will have zones that are anti shearing at the top and bottom of the mattress that prevent unnecessary friction for the heels and shoulder blades.

Capabilities For Transfer

This is very important if the user of the bed needs to be transferred to other areas and can really help care givers. Some mattresses feature the facility to automatically deflate or inflate which will help with care tasks on a daily basis.

Mattress Safety

The last thing that you want is for the bed user to become trapped between any bed rails and the mattress and a number of mattresses include static perimeters to prevent this.

If there is a power outage then you do not want the bed user to be unsupported so there are also mattresses available that will maintain air pressure to keep the mattress inflated if the power is removed.

The Price

Medical air mattresses vary in price from less than a hundred dollars for overlay mattresses to thousands of dollars for the more sophisticated models. Although price is a factor, you should consider the needs of the user first and make sure that you purchase a mattress that will take care of all of their needs.

These mattresses are all about ensuring that the user is as comfortable as possible.

Different Types Of Medical Therapeutic Mattress

There are essentially four different types of therapeutic mattresses designed for medical use and these are:

Pressure Reduction Mattress Without Power

These are dry flotation mattresses that work by channelling air through cells to provide the best possible user immersion.

Powered Alternating Pressure Mattresses

With this mattress the cells are inflated and deflated alternatively to ensure that pressure points are constantly changed which helps to stimulate circulation.

Powered Low Air Loss Mattress

These are designed to float the user of the mattress on cells that are air filled and they also circulate air across the skin so that moisture is reduced and constant pressure is applied to the skin. Normal moisture levels and skin temperature are maintained by utilizing 100 to 150 liters of air every minute.

There are true low air loss mattresses and on demand low air loss mattresses.

The true air loss mattress will use a blower which pumps at high capacity so that the cells of the mattress are filled with air. There are microscopic holes in the cells and these are used to release air so that moisture levels are maintained and the skin is kept cool.

With the on demand air loss mattress air is pumped into the mattress by means of a compressor. A tube that surrounds the perimeter of the mattress is used to release the air so that the user is kept dry and cool.

Powered Lateral Rotation Mattress

With this mattress you will be able to program intervals so that the user can be rotated from one side to the other so that pressure points can be changed in a cyclical manner. This is a gentle rotation and will provide relief from pressure without the user being disturbed.

These mattresses also improve circulation, stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the risk of any pulmonary problems.

Anybody Can Benefit From Using Medical Mattresses That Use Air

A medical air mattress can be used by anyone and if you have a mattress that has alternating pressure you will find that you will sleep better and really feel refreshed when you awake. Tossing and turning is significantly decreased due to the changes in air pressure and blood flow is stimulated to provide enhanced circulation.

Check out our review of the Drive Medical Med Aire Alternating Pressure Pump And Pad System!


While you’re here, be sure to check out our air mattress reviews!